John is in charge of European business operations and is also responsible for spearheading the Group’s ambitions across Europe, Asia and the Middle-East.
He was previously Group Chief Executive of Scottish Exhibition Centre Ltd, leading the management team charged with developing and growing the SECC’s core business, as well as delivering the new SSE Hydro Arena, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue which opened on time, on budget and to critical acclaim in September 2013.
Richard is a Chartered Accountant and Senior Finance Professional with over 25 years of experience, including 20 years at Board level. Richard’s previous roles include CFO and Commercial Director of Leisure Connection and Group CFO of Danoptra Ltd. He has a wealth of knowledge across many business disciplines and experience of single and multi-site businesses, service, FM, manufacturing and asset based capital intensive companies.
Darran started his career straight from school in Hull as a chef and joined CGC Events at the relatively young age of 20 in 1988. He spent two years at the Mansion in Roundhay Park, Leeds, as Deputy Manager and then went to Ireland to troubleshoot a contract as a service for one of the company’s clients.
Darran was promoted to Operations Manager of Outside Catering and then Operations Director of the same division whilst only 24. He oversaw its rapid growth over a 12 year period and he became a board member and shareholder of the new company. He took over as Managing Director in 2012.
More recently, Darran has been responsible for steering the CGC team through the SMG acquisition in 2015 and has subsequently played a key role in inculcating the catering and commercial capabilities of the combined businesses, on behalf of the client base.
Stephen became the Director of Estates in June 2019 following a career in the Healthcare Industry both in the National Health Service and overseas. Stephen is an Experienced Estates, Facilities and Capital Projects Director.
During his career Stephen has been involved in developing the National Health Service Premises Assurance Model which is now used by all 152 NHS Trust. More recently he was an active member of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Estates Strategy Board developing an Estates Masterplan for the future Healthcare Delivery across Greater Manchester.
At SMG Europe Stephen works closely with venue managers and contracted service providers to develop an industry leading Estates Strategy for the organisations property Portfolio and Estates Infrastructure.
Gary joined SMG in 2018 as Security Director with a background spanning military, police and commercial sector security. His career as a Chief Inspector with the Greater Manchester Police Force included managing large scale public events such as music festivals, sporting fixtures and highly charged political protests. At SMG Europe, Gary works closely with venue managers and contracted security suppliers to develop sector leading safety and security policies and procedures, and he’s also accountable for asset protection, counterterrorism mitigation and organisational resilience.
Tom joined SMG in 2015, following a career dedicated to hospitality and events, working across the high street food & beverage sector and the international exhibitions and conferences market. Previously Commercial Director for management consultancy firm CGA Strategy, Tom worked with some of the UK’s biggest bar, restaurant and hospitality operators advising on sales, marketing and strategy. Previously Tom’s career in international MICE businesses Mondiale Publishing and United Business Media saw him launching and managing a portfolio of corporate events, exhibition and conference brands across a number of different sectors.
Since joining SMG, Tom has managed the European new business strategy across the group’s venue management and catering/hospitality businesses, leading the successful tenders and mobilisation of the new-build arena, exhibition and conference centres in both Aberdeen and Hull, as well as a new retail catering proposition at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal. Tom also plays a key role SMG’s food & beverage subsidiary CGC Event Caterers, overseeing the firm’s sales & marketing strategy on a day to day basis.
Freyja is the sole legal counsel for SMG Europe based in our corporate headquarters in Manchester. Freyja joined SMG Europe in 2015, having previously worked for eight years in private practice at a national law firm based in Manchester. She also provides legal support to SMG Europe’s subsidiary catering company, CGC Events. As in-house legal counsel for Europe, Freyja is responsible for drafting, negotiating, reviewing and reporting on a wide variety of legal agreements; managing disputes and litigation; providing guidance internally on a range of legal matters; and staff training on legal issues.
Ian is a partnerships, sponsorship and naming rights expert with over 10 years’ experience in brokering, activating and evaluating sponsorship. During his career he has worked agency-side and client-side for clients including Asda, MasterCard, EDF Energy, Jaguar, Reebok, The Premier League, Transport for London, Transport for Greater Manchester, Kelloggs, Carling, Zoggs, Franke and B&Q.
Ian joined SMG in January 2018 with the responsibility for securing a naming rights and category partners across our venues. To date he has secured long-term naming rights partnerships with Utilita (Newcastle Arena), Bonus Electrical (Hull Arena) and DC Thomson (Aberdeen) as well as category partnership deals with JD Sports, John Clark Motor Group and PDR Construction.
Catrin became the HR Director at SMG Europe in January 2016 following a career dedicated to Human Resources. She has worked in the UK and Europe for international and domestic organisations across a number of sectors including Goodyear, Unilever, SC Johnson, Barclays and the Co-op. At SMG Europe, Catrin has overall accountability for the HR strategy, organisation design and development, working with the leadership team to develop people strategy with a focus on customer and colleague outcomes.
Jeremy joined SMG Europe as Director of IT in 2015 having previously worked in a number of senior IT positions across a variety of sectors within the service industry, and more recently as Head of IT for a leisure services operator with 60+ venues across the UK. Jeremy has a number of IT certifications from top IT suppliers including Microsoft and Novell.
At SMG Europe Jeremy is responsible for all aspects of IT and communications strategy, implementation and support across all venues working closely with other members of the senior management team.
Adam is the Finance Director for all the SMG Europe UK venues. Adam joined SMG Europe in December 2015, having previously worked in a variety of roles, most recently as regional Head of Finance for a global financial services organisation in London. Adam is also a Chartered Accountant, and qualified with a medium sized practice in London. At SMG Europe, Adam is responsible for the UK Finance team that incorporates transactional services, management accounting, financial accounting, budgetary and forecasting planning.